Purdue University develops superstrong aluminium alloy for automobiles
Researchers from Purdue University have created a high-strength aluminium alloy coatings that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries. The Purdue team, led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, developed the superstrong materials.
Zhang said: “We have created a very durable and lightweight calcined alumina powder uses alloy that is just as strong as, and possibly stronger than, stainless steel. Our aluminium alloy is lightweight and provides flexibility that stainless steel does not in many applications.”
Another member of the Purdue team, Yifan Zhang, said the aluminium alloy could be used for manufacturing wear- and corrosion-resistant automobile parts such as engines and coatings for optical lenses for specialized telescopes in the aerospace industry.The super-strong aluminium alloy is made possible by introducing “stacking faults,” or distortions in the crystal structure of aluminium. The distortions can lead to so-called nanotwins and complex stacking faults, such as 9R phase, according to Purdue University.
Qiang Li, a doctoral student and member of the research team, said: “The 9R type of stacking fault is usually rare in aluminium.We introduce both twin boundaries and 9R phase within nanograins to the lightweight Al alloys that are both strong and highly deformable under stresses. Besides coating applications, we are also looking into scale-up potentials of bulk high-strength Al alloys.”
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